Coy Bacon deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame

Published 10:43 am Friday, July 1, 2011

Coy Bacon was born in Cadiz, Ky., Aug. 30, 1942.

He was line coach for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976, when head coach Paul Brown retired and named Bill “Tiger” Johnson as his successor.

Tiger won 18 and lost 15, but resigned five games into the 1978 season after starting 0-5. He retired as the Bengals tight ends coach in 1990.

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Johnson, who played nine seasons in the NFL and coached another 50 years, called Bacon “the second best pass rusher I ever saw,” behind the Baltimore Colts star Gino Marchetti.

Bacon’s NFL numbers are impressive. He racked up 130 quarterback sacks during a 14-year career that spanned from 1968 to 1981.

His numbers were even more impressive because he played in an era that was run-oriented instead of today’s pass first, run second philosophy that creates more opportunities to record a sack. Coy played often on the inside at tackle where it is even more difficult.

Bacon led the NFL with what was considered a record 26 quarterback sacks in 1976 and was the team’s Most Valuable Player.

He earned All-Pro honors for the third time. The previous two times were 1971 and 1972 with the Rams.

Unfortunately for Bacon, the NFL later downgraded his sack total to 21.5 and the record has since been broken by the New York Jets Mark Gastineau and current record holder Michael Strahan who was with the New York Giants.

Bacon began his pro career with the Charleston (W.Va.) Rockets, a minor league team, and then spent a couple of seasons on the Dallas Cowboys’ taxi squad. Bacon was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams where he played from 1968-72 when he made his first of three Pro Bowls.

When defensive tackle Roger Brown suffered an injury in 1969, Bacon was inserted into the lineup along Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen and Lamar Lundy as part of the famed Fearsome Foursome.

Lundy retired the following season and Bacon moved to right defensive end for the next three seasons. He had 11 quarterback sacks in 1971 and was named second team All-Pro.

He was voted the Rams Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1971 and ’72 by the Rams Alumni Organization.

Bacon and running back Bob Thomas were traded to San Diego in 1973 for quarterback John Hadl. It was during that season that Bacon returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown.

The Cincinnati Bengals were in need of a pass rusher and traded wide receiver Charlie Joiner for Bacon in 1976.

Bacon was an All-Pro in his two seasons with the team and set a team record with 21.5 sacks, the former record that has since been broken by Mark Gastineau and then Michael Strahan.

Unofficial NFL records have Bacon with 130 career sacks.

The Bengals organization expressed its sadness at the passing of Bacon.

“Coy was a tremendous player for the Bengals, the greatest pass rusher our team has ever had,” said Bengals owner Mike Brown in a statement.

“After he left the team, he worked hard to make life better for youths in the Ironton area. What he did was admirable, something all of us respect. We are saddened by his passing.”

The Washington Redskins picked up Bacon in 1978 and he registered 15 sacks — still a Redskins’ team record — and got 11 more in 1980. He finished his career with the Washington Federals of the USFL in 1983.

After his retirement, Bacon suffered a gunshot wound in a drug-related incident on Aug. 16, 1986. He moved back to Ironton and dedicated his life to helping the youth of Ironton.after his retirement

Coy became a motivational speaker. He also worked as a youth corrections officer at Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility, where he also helped teach a scared straight class.

Bacon also spent time coaching youth league girls’ basketball and served as an assistant football coach at Ironton St. Joseph and South Point.

Bacon volunteered as a mentor to the youth of the Tri-State area.

Coy took local underprivileged children to church. He also hosted free monthly roller skating parties for children of the Ironton area.

Coy founded a bicycle riding club for Ironton area kids and also took them sporting events and movies.

Our petition is asking the Professional Football Hall Of Fame and the National Football League for the Induction and Enshrinement of Coy Bacon into the Professional Football Hall Of Fame.

We are also asking the National Football League for the league to officially recognize Bacon’s single season sack record of 26 sacks set with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976.

Archie Griffin, the only two time Heisman Trophy winner in history from Ohio State and former teammate of Coy Bacon with the Cincinnati Bengals, signed our petition.

Someone from the Cincinnati Bengals has signed our petition on Feb. 7, 2011.

You can sign the petition at petition

Glenn Robinson

Friends Of Coy Bacon